Honda CR-V Hybrid interior & comfort

In top-spec EX trim, the Honda CR-V Hybrid has a genuine premium feel, but the infotainment system is a letdown

Honda believes the top-of-the-range EX trim will be the biggest-selling CR-V Hybrid, so it has gone to great lengths to ensure customers get a car with an interior befitting of the hefty price tag.

Comfort is also a strong point, largely because of the impressive – albeit complicated – hybrid system, which keeps the engine running on low revs most of the time. This means the CR-V Hybrid is impressively quiet under all but harsh acceleration, making it serene to drive.

The ride is tuned for comfort as well; you get a bit of sloppy body control but the CR-V keeps its occupants mostly oblivious to the road's bumps and scars. 

Honda CR-V Hybrid dashboard

Honda has introduced a new method of selecting drive, neutral, park and reverse, with buttons on the lower part of centre console, and it’s works well. These are flanked by the electronic parking brake, and buttons for sport, economy, and EV modes.

Above these is a dedicated cluster for climate-control functions, topped off with a colour touchscreen (the latter on all but S trim cars). The radio and sat nav are operated here, while a digital display behind the steering wheel gives you information such as speed, fuel economy, driving mode and much else besides. Controls on the steering wheel are used to navigate these.

The most noticeable design element in EX trim are the wood-effect panel inserts, which seem a bit tacky and out-of-keeping with the rest of the cabin. A black fabric is the standard seat finish on lower-spec cars, or SR and EX get leather as standard.

Equipment, options and accessories

Four trims are available on the CR-V Hybrid: S, SE, SR, and EX. Front-wheel drive can be chosen on the S, SE and SR, while all-wheel drive is available on the SE and SR. All-wheel drive costs £1,100 more than front-wheel drive on trim levels where there’s a choice between the two; the EX, however, is all-wheel-drive only.

On SE spec, you’ll find parking sensors and a useful rear-view camera, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are introduced. SR cars get a handful of extra safety features as well as the leather interior, while EX boasts luxuries like a panoramic glass sunroof and heated rear seats. All versions get 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

Smartphone connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on the SE, SR and EX trims, which is great news because it means you can override the fiddly standard system - undoubtedly one of the CR-V Hybrid’s weaker elements. The sat nav can be laborious to use at times, as can other features controlled using the touchscreen. The graphics look dated, too.